Bake the Book: Cardamom and Ginger Shortbread

[Photograph: Myles New]

Shortbread isn't exactly shortbread without a hefty helping of butter to give the dough its trademark taste. A Lighter Way To Bake keeps a full stick of it in the recipe, but the rest of the ingredients are in keeping with the book title: two tablespoons of low-fat milk and a spoonful of egg white are added to keep things together, along with a modest amount of brown sugar for sweetness. Cardamom and freshly chopped ginger add earthy, spicy high notes.

Tips: The mixture is very dry, but it does come together. The longer you let the butter sit before creaming, the easier the process will be when you mix in the rest of the ingredients. It won't come together exclusively with a mixer, so get in there with your hands and use their warmth to mold the dough.

Tweaks: In the list of ingredients, it asks for either seeds of 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. While vanilla extract is a fine (and less expensive) option, the look and flavor of vanilla beans scattered throughout the wedges is really something else, especially with the cardamom. Don't forget to toss the scraped pods into sugar, to make vanilla sugar.

As always with our Bake the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of A Lighter Way To Bake to give away.

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